Jessel Gallery celebrates the Fourth of July with a gallery of artists inside and out on Saturday, July 2. The “Welcome Summer Days Celebration” includes parking lot pop-ups with artists in tented art displays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Inside, visitors will find a stunning show of light and color with works by B.J. Thrailkill, Therese Legere and others. Olaf Schneider’s painting “Spreading Joy,” a vivid explosion of flowers, captures the spirit of the show.
“The summer show in our back room is like taking a breath of fresh air,” said gallery owner Jessel Miller.
Miller is especially pleased that two well-known artists have recently added their works to the gallery.
“It has taken me three years to get work from Erin Hanson and I am thrilled that she has joined the Jessel Gallery family,” Miller said. “Erin’s art is exciting and reminiscent of Van Gogh. It is innovative and captures brilliant colors and beautiful landscapes.
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“Betty Anglin Smith is someone that I studied and used as a great example for my classes. I was thrilled that she would consider showing in the Napa Valley even though she has her own gallery in South Carolina,” Miller continued. “Both of these new artists have galleries of their own so it is a great honor that I have their work in the Jessel Gallery.”
Miller’s clothing line, reflecting her new vivacious paintings, will be introduced as “wearable art” at this event.
In addition, she has invited two women to offer glimpses into their creative process from 1 to 4 p.m.
Marta Collings, known for her landscapes of Northern California, will be giving an art demonstration. Whether she is painting outdoors or in her studio, painting is “meditation,” says Collings. Her goal for her paintings is to convey “the feeling of the warm sunlight or the wind blowing through your hair,” to share with a viewer her love of the landscape she has painted in oils or acrylics.
Now that her children are raised, Collings said, she and her husband and Labrador retriever spend most of their summer and fall weekends participating in juried art festivals up and down the West Coast.
Jessel is also hosting a “sneak preview” of Sasha Paulsen’s newest novel, “Where Time Begins” (She Writes Press). Set in the Kingdom of Tonga, it’s about a young woman who decides to escape the confusion of her life in the U.S. only to have most of her problems follow her to these remote South Pacific islands.
The official launch is July 16, hosted by Yountville Arts, but Miller invited Paulsen to bring some advance copies from the publisher to the event.
Paulsen’s first novel, “Dancing on the Spider’s Web,” set in Napa Valley and San Francisco in the 1970s, was a national semifinalist for the BookLife awards.
The outside pop-up
In tents outside the gallery, visitors will have the opportunity to meet Napa Valley artists.
“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our country’s birthday than to share an artful day with friends and fellow artists,” said Janis Adams, president of Art Association Napa Valley. “It’s such a joy to welcome locals and valley visitors alike to another aspect of the wonderful Napa Valley.”
Adams will have her fused glass jewelry and gifts at the show. Adams makes kiln-formed glass and fiber art. Most of her glass pieces are utilitarian and meant to be used in everyday life. She also makes attractive decorative items. Her silk scarves are hand-dyed and individually embellished.
Also at the show will be:
— Watercolorist and art instructor Diane Pope, known for her wildlife paintings. Pope said one of her favorite techniques is to paint a loose background creating an almost out-of-focus look and then paint the subject – often a bird – with a lot of detail.
— Photographer John Comisky, who has become known for his wildlife photography since his involvement with Napa Wildlife Rescue. He was the winner of Smithsonian magazine’s 2020 photo contest.
— Marcia Garcia’s handmade baskets. Because she uses three or four fabrics in a single basket, no two baskets are ever alike. Detailed bead work can be seen in the bottom of each basket and as a finishing edge to each creation. She often uses objects from nature, such as feathers, twigs from her apple trees, or grapevines to decorate the baskets.
— Jewelry by Mara Adelman, who uses found objects.
— Therese Legere will have her oil paintings, prints and hand-woven products at the show. Legere documents the colors, textures and light of the vineyards and mountains in her oil paintings with a painting technique that is initially impressionist, followed by drawing out certain contours. Her process results in paintings having a captivating stained-glass appearance.
— Jeff Smith’s oils, watercolors and prints will be at the show. Smith is known for his landscapes and his automotive-themed paintings.
— Jewelry by Marilyn Smith.
— Oil and pastel works by Frank Trozzo. Trozzo has been painting and drawing ever since receiving his first oil painting set at age nine. In 2018 he won the Artist of the Year Award from Art Association Napa Valley. In addition to his other work, Trozzo will have his current theme – 9-by-12-inch pastels of people who inspire the world – at the show.
— Fused glass jewelry by Zelda, who uses her background in pottery to make molds to melt the glass over her pieces.
For more information, visit jesselgallery.com
13 fun, festive ideas for a Fourth of July picnic
Mason jar drinks
There’s something classic about Mason jars, and they’re great vessels for Fourth of July drinks. Shop antique stores for vintage versions, or look online for Mason jars with handles, lids and straws, which make them perfect for portable picnicking.
Decorative utensil jars
Don’t bother setting the table — guests can grab what they need from no-fuss utensil jars. Simply decorate containers such as empty oatmeal canisters or coffee canisters by wrapping them with festive paper and securing with tape. Add an adhesive chalkboard label to send a fun message.
Sparkling place setting
Encourage guests to get in the spirit by setting each place with a box of sparklers. For an easy DIY napkin ring, glue the end of a 12-inch grosgrain ribbon to the flat side of a D-ring. Wrap the ribbon around a napkin and the sparklers, and loop it through the D-ring to secure.
Fruit salad sailboat
A simple sail is all you need to transform a watermelon fruit salad into a seaworthy centerpiece. Cut a triangle from ticking fabric and fold it in half over a dowel. Hot-glue the fabric along the dowel to secure and along the loose edges for a stiff sail.
Roll-it-up place setting
Make picnic prep a breeze with an all-in-one utensil holder and place mat. Fold the long end of a dish towel up until it becomes the size of a placemat. Stitch or hot-glue the outer edges together. Insert utensils into the pocket, roll up, and tie with a separate ribbon.
Fair-style berry cones
Use food to decorate the picnic table. Form sturdy wax paper into cones, securing with transparent tape. Fill each cone with blue or red berries to create a sweet treat and dazzling display all in one.
Patriotic snack station
An arrangement of classic snacks is a great way to keep guests happy until the Fourth of July picnic begins. The bright colors and nostalgic feel of licorice, pretzels and boxed caramel popcorn lend a festive baseball-game accent to the party.
Temporary glass labels
Turn plain drinking glasses into patriotic ones — temporarily — for the holiday. Using pinking shears, cut bands of red-and-white plaid oilcloth to fit around the glasses. Sew or glue a white oilcloth rectangle to the center of the band, then adhere the ends of the band together so it fits around a glass. (The band should easily slip over the narrower bottom of a glass and slide upward until it stays snugly in place.)
Display famous words from the Declaration of Independence on galvanized tubs. Coat three tubs with white metal primer. Then paint each tub a different shade of blue. (Buy deep blue exterior paint and dilute with white exterior paint to get the two lighter hues). Use letter stickers to spell “life,” “liberty” and “happiness” on the tubs. Fill with ice to hold drinks or frozen treats, or use without ice to hold sparklers for some Fourth of July fun.
Stylish snack table
Ditch the food packages and line galvanized pails with napkins to serve picnic staples, such as potato chips or buns. A label makes refills a cinch.
Shoelace napkin ties
Eating saucy sandwiches and dripping ice cream treats is all part of a great Fourth of July picnic. So, let your guests enjoy the messy fare by using inexpensive white dish towels as oversize napkins. Roll the towels and fasten with checkered shoelaces for a pop of color.
Red, white and blue table
Mix and match assorted paper goods to create a patriotic table setting. Don’t worry if the blues and reds don’t match perfectly; together they’ll create a cohesive look suitable for any patriotic holiday.
For a fun presentation, preassemble hot dogs or burgers with buns wrapped in wax paper. Secure the wrap with an American flag toothpick.